‘ “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me.” ‘
Speaking from experience, I have, in the past put many relationships and material things before God, but more specific to this post, I have idolised boyfriends and what I failed to understand then was that, God is a jealous God.
You spend every waking moment thinking about someone continuously, you spend 12 hours of your day devoting your undivided attention to them on the phone, skype, social network websites or even in person (with the exception of marriage) and not even managing to squeeze in a minute for God, to speak to him, to enter his temple, to say thank you or sorry. You speak solely about them and spread knowledge of them, whilst the gospel goes unmentioned, as if they will some how save the world by being your boy/girlfriend. Or worst of all, you forget about God completely, omitting him from your life and when in need, going to your boy/girlfriend for comfort, for companionship and salvation. When they finally let you down and they will, you feel so desperate, so helpless and wonder why – because they’re just as human as you and they’ll make countless mistakes.
(Raises hand) Guilty, I’m guilty of all of the above. Why won’t you fall into sin when you’ve made another sinner your whole world, the blind leading the blind, it is true that sin only begets more sin. And then comes the heart break, the betrayal and you run back to God and ask him why, well its because he’s a jealous God, he said it in the scriptures, he warned us;
‘You shall not make for yourselves an idol’
Why would he preserve something he did not create, better yet, why would he preserve something you yourself have positioned above him? I’m finding it difficult to put God before everything else in my life, I won’t lie and tell you its easy, but I can say that it feels good. Maybe not straight away; not instantly after you decide not to go to that party or a few hours after you refused to spend the night. But there is an undeniable relief that comes upon the spirit when you do God’s will and put him first.
I’ve come to realise that everything we do in life should have a superordinate goal to give God the glory. All our successes should be what we use to spread news of the free gift of reconciliation with God through Christ’s death and resurrection. Its hard because I’m not really sure how my, one day, getting married will glorify God’s name, but perhaps if I abstain from sin, if I approach a relationship in the manner which pleases God and I repent for the sins I commit along the way, maybe when I finally get married and I and my husband are presented before God, the angels will rejoice and his name will be glorified in heaven and on earth, because beyond the struggles with the flesh, a beautiful union has been formed. And those who know my past will know that God must have been a part of this, it could not have happened otherwise.
No relationship should be simply for love or companionship’s sake, it should also be to bring out the best side of your partner (the side that loves God and glorifies him), to be a blessing to them and them a blessing to you (gaining a stronger relationship with God together), and in marry them, depict the wonderful manifestations of God’s influence, grace and mercy. Relationships are not easy, they should not be created without absolute assurance, the should not be without Jesus Christ’s grace, they should not be based on selfish human needs, this is what I’m still trying to drum into my own head.
I pray that God the father help his children to wait patiently for him to manifest his love – to be our shepherd, for us to remain content as Paul was even whilst facing persecution for spreading the Gospel “the Good News” –
‘I am not telling you this because I need anything, I have learned to be satisfied with the things that I have, and with everything that happens. I know how to live when I am poor, and how to live when I have plenty.’ Philippians 4:11
And I pray that as you manifest your love Lord Jesus Christ, we will remain humble and continue to serve you diligently, your blessings will not cause us to be blinded by satisfaction and success, and we will not grow impatient, that we cease from praising you, in Jesus mighty name I pray, amen.